Thursday, July 26, 2007

Walks with Daniel

For health and energy reasons, I started an exercise routine that consists of a brisk walk around our neighborhood. I do not feel comfortable walking alone, so I drafted Daniel to share them with me. He was happy to come, it gives us special time together.. something we both enjoy! We took a photo journal of one of our adventures....
The first path we take on our walks is usually straight down our neighbor's driveway.
Ms. Lossie works hard to keep her flowers beautiful and Daniel and I admire the new ones and remember the blooms from the weeks before. Mr. Kenneth's flag is a beautiful reminder to us of our blessing of being Americans and the thankfulness for our veterans and soldiers. Mr. Kenneth was a gunner in World War II and has shared some of his memories with the children... which is a gem because he usually is too emotional to talk about that aspect of his life. In quiet moments, though, he has opened up and shared living history with the children. I hope they remember it always. Then we hang a right... and are parallel with the railroad track, headed toward the beaver dam. Everything was so beautiful and green this morning because of the recent rain. We took the next turn so we could check the progress of the figs on this humongous tree. We need to find out who owns it and ask for figs to preserve.... oh so many things that we COULD do! There is a little, yet full grown, black and white cat that we visit on this street. One of the few cats who have eluded the 'evil cat lady'. (that is another blog all together!)

We took a few extra turns this day in order to photograph some of our favorite interests. One very sad part of our walk is passing the lot where Ms. Julia's house used to stand. There were two houses, side by side, that were very similar. They belonged to sisters. While walking with Ms. Lossie one morning, we saw Ms. Julia working in her garden and I was introduced. I was immediately intrigued by her life as Ms. Lossie told me of some of her history. Her garden was big, beautiful and well kept.. in spite of her precarious physical condition, a severe stoop and all sorts of 'old age-itis'. I learned that the sisters were comforted by each others presence and how nice it was for them to live their days out side by side. I imagined what my life will be like in it's winter season. Well, one day we heard the awful news that a house was on fire in town. It was Ms. Julia's. She was gardening and heard a loud noise coming from the kitchen area of her home. She went to investigate and was trapped in her burning home, they found her by the back door. I was devastated, such a loss! For her family and for our town. I want to go talk to Ms. Lossie again one day, this time with a pen and paper so I can record some of her memories of this lady. Our town newspaper only focused on the tragedy, not on the interests and blessing of her life! I thought a small town newspaper should have more feeling. I want my family to remember her life... look for a future post on the history of Ms. Julia... my remembered neighbor. This photo is of the empty lot where her house once stood. You see the driveway which circled the house, the garage and the remains of a garden in the back left.

We do not know these neighbors, at least we do not think we do, but we appreciate the fun of their blue chimney and green porch posts! We like originality!
Now to the good stuff. Our Tree. This is our favorite tree in the neighborhood. It is our friend. Ms. Lossie has been admiring it for many more years than we. We can not resist the temptation to stand under this massive tree and look up into the branches. Considering the works of His hands....

The tree reminds me of the gargantuan tree in the old Disney movie, Castaway. If you have never seen it with your children, do! It is full of imagination and adventure, plus a couple of good songs!
The house of the seven gables. Yes, you can't see them all, but they are there. Ms. Lossie used to have relatives, an uncle I believe, who lived there. She remembers being 12 years old and helping to paint the sides of this house. Her uncle took a rope and tied it around her... then around the top spire on the roof! She was suspended in air and lowered to past the top peaks just below the roof line to do the painting. I suppose they didn't have a ladder high enough! Just imagine.
Daniel, being all boy, loves our itty bitty water tower and was surprised to find this view of it on our walk. He took this photo. The roof under it is the house in this next photo. Here is the story of the unkempt house. There are two sisters in town. There are rumors of feuding and haggling over family money, you have to understand that this place is almost a Mayberry... every one 'knows' everyone. Well, one of the sisters is supposedly a spicy old clench fist. She lives in this sad house, this is a view of her childhood playhouse. The picket fence is almost devoid of pickets.. the paint is seriously peeling and the beautiful house (I have 'potential vision') just sits there un-loved. We only met her one time. She drove halfway up Ms. Lossie's drive and got out of the car. She saw us in OUR driveway with our cat Bobby. One look and she growled "I do not like cats, you better keep them away from me!" and huffed to the house. I almost took offense, but immediately softened. Old people have their stories and we do not know them. She obviously needs a smile, not a scowl so we often say a soft prayer for her as we walk by her house. She is definitely a character I would like to know more about, and not just town gossip. This next photo is of a little fluffy-headed birdie perched in her sister's tree. They do live beside each other, are you sensing the situation? Two sets of sisters. One set quarrels, the other comforts. Which one is taken? It may make people wonder what God is doing, but I know He is Sovereign and knows what we can't see.

This is yet another cat we came across on our walk. It had a flea collar, a regular collar and a rabies tag... no name or address. We are sure its 'jewelry' saved it from the 'evil cat lady'. It was very friendly, so friendly in fact that it followed us home! We were at the Church on the corner when we found her. We asked a couple neighbors with no luck. So we gave her a little food and ignored her. She left on her own accord. We came across her a few days later as we walked past a home having a yard sale. We found out who owned the kitten, so we know where to take her next time! This last photo is of our beautiful trees in the front yard. This is before the 'broccoli incident'. There are flat perches in the tops of our trees because of the cutting done by the power company. Our little huntress, Pepper, loves to sit there ready to pounce on unsuspecting birds. Her fur color blends into the bark on the tree, natural camouflage! It makes for interesting viewing when we relax on our front porch! We love our morning walks. We are looking forward to donning coats and scarves and walking in the cool, cool fall mornings!


Jana said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that delightful stroll around your neighborhood! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful local stories.

Magran said...

You are blessed to be able to take advantage of the "small town" flavor of your town

Our Family of Five said...

Mayberry.....very good description. That is very sad about Ms.Julia's house. You did a great job on this Hilda! The pictures of Daniel are beautiful. Tell him that we all said hello and we miss him! Hopefully his gun cartridge thingy will be on its way to him this week!! Love,Lynn.